Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition had a cracker end to season 2016 and Tim has recapped his return trip from Cairns to the Gold Coast below. Also at bottom a season wrap up video – well worth the watch to see the whole reef experience!
After a long Cairns season, following on from a big Dominican Republic season, Tim returned the boat home to the Gold Coast City Marina to get the boat work done for next year, and have a couple of weeks off before heading back to Puerto Rico for a few weeks getting the CHASER ready for the DR season starting mid February to Mid July.
While the Cairns crew have flown home, Tim had Rusty Jones join him for the trip south and picked his father up at Hamilton Island and chugged through to near North West Reef to the deep water up inside the big “bay” to the Swains out to the east, and the edge running down to Fraser Island.
They fished the first day from 11-4.30 and tagged 3 small blacks up to 200 lbs from 3 bites. Tim said there where was schools of tuna everywhere with lots of birds, sharks feeding on top, the place was alive, but the layer of brown algae/coral spawn was like driving thru a desert it was so brown, but the water underneath was beautiful blue. They anchored the night at Fitzroy Reef Lagoon.
On the 2nd day they fished out in about 1200 feet, to where the water is normally pretty good in close, but again was dirty on the edge. He tried some marks from blue marlin in previous years, but only had a bite from a small black in the morning, so started to wander back inshore a little and had the bite out of the big fish (previously reported). The fish only did one jump, and went hard on top changing direction and going up and down in the water column. Although they had her up 3 times in the first hour, she then sounded hard taking them back into the dacron and then the fight changed, she had stopped swimming unfortunately, and they spent the next hour and a half or so planing her up. When the fish popped up they were surprised just how big she was, and took a lot of effort for the 3 of them to get her into the boat and start heading to Lady Musgrave Island. The fish measured 11’9” , 6’3”, 6”6” at the anal with 20” tail. One of Tim’s friends had his white boat there so we were able to weigh the fish on his certified scales, and she brought them down to 1054 lbs. From what he has heard, it’s the biggest fish weighted south of Townsville.
The next day they fished to the top of Breaksea Spit, tagging 2 more blacks, and spending the night at Rooneys with good friends on the Hot Shot. And with the weather change coming they decided to cancel a seamount trip and just head home, tagging a 500 lb blue on the Lumo on the way, to end the few days fishing with 7 from 8 on lures.